Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop in diameter and high mounted to a backboard at each end. Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most popular and widely considered to be the highest level of professional basketball in the world and NBA players are the world's best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket during regular play. A field goal scores three points for the shooting team if the player shoots from behind the three-point line, and two points if shot from in front of the line. A team can also score via free throws, which are worth one point, after the other team was assessed with certain fouls. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but additional time (overtime) is issued when the score is tied at the end of regulation. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it while walking or running or throwing it to a teammate. It is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands then resume dribbling.
As well as many techniques for shooting, passing, dribbling and rebounding, basketball teams generally have player positions and offensive and defensive structures (player positioning). Traditionally, the tallest and strongest members of a team are called a center or power forward, while slightly shorter and more agile players are called small forward, and the shortest players or those who possess the best ball handling skills are called a point guard or shooting guard.
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